The number of people claiming unemployment benefit in the West Country fell in July according to the latest jobless figures published on Wednesday by the Government:
- 21,792 in Somerset and Devon
- 18,272 in Bath, Bristol, North East Somerset, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire
- 9,427 in Wiltshire
- 9,051 in Gloucestershire
- 8,420 in Dorset
Unemployment remained at 7.8% between April and June, official figures showed. Earlier this month the new Bank of England governor Mark Carney revealed that interest rates will not rise until unemployment has fallen below 7%.
Average earnings increased by 2.1% in the year to June, 0.3% up on the previous month.
The number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance last month fell by 29,200 to 1.4 million, the Office for National Statistics said.
Unemployment fell by 4,000 between April and June to 2.51 million, official figures showed.
UK unemployment figures from the Office for National Statistics from November 2012 to May 2013, were as follows:
- Unemployment fell by 57,000 to 2.51 million between March and May.
- It increased by 15,000 between January and March to 2.52 million. But the figures were down 92,000 from the previous year.
- Unemployment increased by 7,000 between November and January to 2.52 million.
Our welfare reform agenda is about making a fair and affordable system that incentivises work: giving people the support they need to get off benefits and into a job.
Today's figures are encouraging, with the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance down and the number of people in work increasing.
The fall in the number of people claiming out-of-work benefits, together with the news that there are currently over half a million vacancies available in the UK economy, show that there are opportunities out there for those who are prepared to work hard, and who aspire to get on in life.
Unemployment in the South West has gone down according to figures released today.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) says a total of 156,000 people are unemployed in the region - 11,000 less than the last quarter. The rate of unemployment in the region is now 5.8%.
Nationally, long-term unemployment has increased to a 17-year high, despite another fall in the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance.
The Conservative MP Mark Hoban is Minister for Employment. He told ITV News West Country that the South West economy is diverse:
Given the challenging economic conditions at the end of last year, it's unsurprising that we're now seeing fewer people in work. What's encouraging, however, is that economic conditions seem to be improving and that full-time jobs are still being created. With these figures showing the highest number of vacancies since 2008, this reflects businesses' more positive view of the year ahead."